Iran announced on Wednesday that the country has increased its missile production “threefold.” The surprising proclamation came from a senior Revolutionary Guards commander in Iran, according to the Fars news service, Reuters reported.
Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeg, the head of the Guards’ aerospace division, said: “In the past we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions, but it’s not like that anymore. Our production has increased threefold compared to the past,” referring to missiles.
The commander did not expand on his statement or reveal the time period in which such a production increase had taken place. However, Hajizadeg did say that the Iranian government, parliament and other Iranian officials all agreed on the need for ground-to-ground missiles.
The announcement comes at a tense time for Iran and the other nations involved in the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
President Donald Trump has recently threatened to completely pull out of the deal if European nations do not agree to a range of fixes that include added pressure on Iran to cease or at least limit missile production, among other terms. President Trump’s threat has garnered support from both the U.S. State Department and many members of Congress.
“This is a last chance,” a State Department official said. “In the absence of a commitment from our European allies to work with us to fix the deal’s flaws, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time the President judges that agreement is not within reach, the United States will withdraw from the deal immediately.”
France, Germany, the United Kingdom and United States have issued a joint statement on Iran’s recent actions saying that the country’s non-compliance, as described by a United Nations panel of experts, “poses serious risks to peace and stability in the region”.
The four countries called on Iran “to immediately cease all activities that that are inconsistent with or would violate the terms” of the 2015 nuclear deal.
However, the key European allies have also recently expressed opposition to the Trump Administration’s desire to update the Iran nuclear deal and impose new sanctions on Iran. They prefer the U.S. goes along with weaker changes to the deal that may even be attractive to Iran.
For now, it appears as though Iran sees no need comply with any nations’ requests or otherwise alter their plan of action, which has included increased military presence in multiple areas, their massive upscaling of missile production, and threatening Tel Aviv and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.